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Healthcare and Facebook an A-Z

Using a powerful social media platform like Facebook has opened the door to a whole new world of communications in the healthcare world.  Medical practices are able to update current and future patients on new happenings; plastic surgery offices can run new promos for Botox treatments, and communities can engage in dialogue about different healthcare related information.  Communities from all sectors are utilizing Facebook and its almost 1 billion users to enrich their specific sectors.  Take a look at an A-Z of how Facebook is being used in the healthcare community.

  • About– Your Facebook about page is a one stop place for all information about you or your practice.  On your about page you can cram all of your important links, locations, directions, and more.
  • Build Audience– No matter what type of specialty you practice focuses on, Facebook is a wonderful tool for building an audience.  Creating a Facebook Page for your practice or hospital can raise awareness of what you do, while engaging with people who are interested and loyal to what you do.
  • Creative– Using Facebook in a creative way is something many businesses and brands are doing regardless of sector.  Facebook’s Timeline has allowed for stunning visuals to be displayed on your cover photo.  Have a new staff photo or new wing at your hospital?  Creatively display it on Facebook for all to see.
  • Documenting– Facebook has evolved into a wonderful place for documenting and organizing photos from events and other important moments you and your practice have had.  Displaying a folder of photos from a recent Run for Autism 5K your office crew ran in is a great way to show a different side of your team.
  • ePatients– As more and more patients become engaged on different social media platforms like Facebook, the landscape of healthcare changes.  Patients are looking to social media for health advice and the medical community needs to be there to relay correct information.
  • Family Safety Center– Have you ever heard of Facebook’s Family Safety Center?  Probably not.  Yet, the Family Safety Center is a wonderful safety resource on Facebook that includes law enforcement, physicians, teachers, and other community members that advocate for safe practices on Facebook.
  • Gathering Information– Facebook is not just a social media platform for creating content, it’s a wonderful resource for finding information.  As more parts of the healthcare community adopt social media, more reliable content can be found on it.
  • Helping– By becoming involved with Facebook’s many groups and pages, the healthcare community is regularly contributing helpful and correct information for users from all over the world.
  • Insights– If your practice or hospital runs a Facebook Page then you have probably noticed the insights section.  The insight section of your Facebook Page will give you wonderful analytics on how your Facebook Page is being engaged with.  That latest post you made about an orthopedic procedure, you can tell how well it went-over with your Page users though Insights.
  • Just for fun– While there is a great deal of serious business that takes place between the healthcare communities via Facebook, it’s also a platform that allows you to engage in fun.  There are games, videos, and more that Facebook has to offer.
  • Keeping in contact– Following up with a patient or colleague is easier than ever with Facebook.  While it might seem informal, Facebook is another mode of keeping in contact with your community.
  • Like– Oh, the ever powerful Like button.  When a Facebook users clicks that Like button it’s an affirmation of their approval.  Not only are they saying they agree or think the post is of interest, that story then appears on their timeline.  With each like of your post, the stories reach grows.
  • Marketing– Facebook is an incredible marketing tool.  Being able to share your latest eBook, news about your practice, or other information is one of Facebook’s greatest components.
  • Newsfeed– The Facebook newsfeed is a useful feature for staying current with what other pages and users are up to.  Your newsfeed is a collection of posts from other pages you’ve liked or friends you’ve connected with.  The nice thing about the newsfeed is it happens in real time.
  • Offers– Is your plastic surgery practice getting ready to offer a new limited time discount on Botox procedures?  Run a Facebook offer and let followers of your Page get in on the deal.  You are in charge of the terms and conditions of your offer so make it count!
  • Pages– Want to create a place for your hospital or practice on Facebook?  Make a Facebook Page.  Pages are Facebook profiles for business, organizations, and brands to connect.  Your practices’ Facebook Page is similar and very different from your personal profile.
  • Questions– Have a burning question for your Facebook fans?  Want to poll the group as to what they want from a free consultation? Do it from the Question tab on Facebook.  It’s easy to use and is very interactive with users.
  • Roles– Facebook Roles is a relatively new aspect of Page management on Facebook.  By setting the Roles for your Facebook page you ensure that the proper team members have access to the proper sections of your Facebook Page.
  • Sharing– Sharing information on Twitter is easier than ever.  If you find an interesting article, click the Like button followed by the Share button.  When you click share that post or story is then posted to your Timeline.  You do have the option to add or edit the post before it goes live on your timeline.
  • Timeline– Facebook rolled out the Timeline version of a profile several months ago.  It’s a reorganized way to share your pictures, stories, and life experiences all in one place.  Did your practice win a customer appreciation award?  You can add that to your Timeline.  Your Timeline is a great place to add past and current milestones.
  • Using Events– Creating, organizing, and inviting people to an event is extremely easy using Facebook Events.  If your practice is planning a community event, organize it on Facebook and invite other Facebook users.  Facebook Events integrate directly into the Facebook calendar and can be exported to other calendar programs too.
  • Video Calling– Video conferencing is becoming more and more prevalent in all sectors and is being used for tons of different reasons.  Facebook has teamed up with Skype to allow users face to face video calls.  Doing a quick prescreening patient consultation is easier than ever using Facebook Video Calling.
  • Web 2.0– Facebook is on the forefront of the Web 2.0 world.  The healthcare community is regularly using Web 2.0 features by sharing, collaborating, and building community around the world.
  • Xanax– X is always a tricky letter to come up with useful information for.  The prescription drug Xanax can lead to some long term consequences.  Connecting people is something Facebook does really well, and its support group communities are larger and very active.  Finding others to connect with on a variety of topics is one of the many areas Facebook really shines.
  • Your Community– Using Facebook has become much more then posting a picture of your lunch.  Connecting with your community and other likeminded people is what Facebook is for.  Facebook is a great way for the healthcare community to grow and build together.
  • Zone Advertising– Using Facebook as a marketing tool is a no brainer.  Did you know that you can get down and dirty with different ways to customize your healthcare advertisements?  Scheduling your ads by time zone is one of the many ways to customize an ad.

Facebook has grown leaps and bounds from behind the shadow of MySpace to an almost 4 billion dollar company.  The way the healthcare community uses Facebook is constantly evolving and taking on new forms.  Whether your medical practice casually uses Facebook or your hospital has full embraced everything that is Facebook, Facebook is a social media platform that offers something for everyone in the healthcare community.


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Stuart Wainstock is a former educator who has taught overseas and in the United States. Stuart began blogging while living overseas as a means to communicate with family and friends back home. He is a contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Stuart is an avid follower of technology, and their constantly changing trends. He also enjoys discovering new and excited music, as well as photography. You can follow Stuart on Twitter @stuartwainstock,@MDWebPro and Google+

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